Mary Helen Specht

Mary Helen Specht's first novel, Migratory Animals, was published by Harper Perennial in 2015. An editors' choice by the New York Times Book Review and the Austin American-Statesmen, an IndieNext Pick, and an Apple iBook selection, Migratory Animals also won the Texas Institute of Letters Best First Fiction Award and the Writers' League of Texas work of Best Fiction.

Born and raised in Abilene, Texas, Specht has a B.A. in English from Rice University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College, where she won the department’s fiction award. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including: The New York TimesThe Colorado ReviewPrairie Schooner; Michigan Quarterly ReviewThe Southwest ReviewFlorida Review; Southwestern American LiteratureWorld Literature TodayBlue Mesa; Hunger MountainBookslutThe Texas Observer; and Night Train, where she won the Richard Yates Short Story Award.

A past Fulbright Scholar to Nigeria and Dobie-Paisano Writing Fellow, Specht currently teaches creative writing at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Texas Monthly has named her one of "Ten Writers to Watch."